It was worth the wait!

I have some fascinating news! I no longer have anything to really wait on for Study Abroad except for the trip itself. I know you are wondering about the scholarships right? That’s what everyone always asks, the money, the money, the money, show me the money! Ha, well I will let you know what happened.

April 17th: I received my official acceptance letter from Yonsei University!

April 22nd: I received my International Education Fee Scholarship Award Letter!!

April 25th: I received one of the greatest Scholarships ever! The Benjamin A. Gilman!!!

I have applied for other smaller Scholarships and such, but thanks mostly to the Gilman Scholarship I will have a comfortable trip and can explore many historical locations! I am excited for what’s to come. I’m sure you are wondering …what do you do now? Do you just plan your trip and wait? Oh no, there is still much to do once you reach this stage. With the Gilman Scholarship before you can get your funds you have to submit more documents, which is thankfully the easiest part of the whole process. ^_^ I will try to make a post dedicated to instructions on the Gilman Scholarship and some tips. In regards to your actual trip, there are several websites they want you to register on and put your travel itinerary, emergency contact info, and other important information. There is also the process of getting a visa if you are going to be there for more than 90 days <—This is the allotted time that S. Korea allows US Citizens to be visiting without requiring a visa. (FYI: Japan is the same)

Here is a list of things I have to still do:

+Send Transcript to Gilman office
+Once I receive funds book my US-Carrier plane flight (with Gilman you can only use US carrier plans. That’s IF you decide to use the money rewarded from them for your flight.
+Add my itinerary to several sites after I get my plan ticket
+Pay my housing fees (I am actually waiting to hear back to know if I got a single room dorm or if I have to take a double room) and field trip fees.
+Choose my favorite three hostels and decide which one I will stay at first (I'm going 3 weeks early to get used to the traveling system, visit japan, and spend time with friends who live in and outside of Seoul).
+Buy luggage bags and come up with my packing system. I want to leave room to ensure that I can bring back lots of goodies for my family.
+Make copies of all of my documents for my parents: bank card, ISIC insurance card, passport, license
+ VERY IMPORTANT!! Tell my bank that I will be overseas<– Please remember to do this. Once you get there it would be extremely challenging to get any issues rectified. I would also leave a letter from you for your bank saying that you are out of the country and give you parents permission (specify the names) to assist with any and all account issues.

I'm sure I have other things that need to be taken care of, but I can't think of them right now. I have something to add about the last point on banking things. It would be a good idea to check with your bank to see if they have banks or atms in the country of your choosing. My bank actually has banks and atms in Seoul and throughout Korea. It is actually one of the major banks there. Citibank ^^


Study Abroad and Getting there- Funding

I know all of you are probably thinking, “wow, yes I would love to go, but I don’t have the money to get there” and I have just the solution for you. I’m sure you already know that your school offers some scholarships and/or you get financial aid, but have you looked at other scholarships that are not tied to your school? I mean the ones that are specifically for studying abroad? No? Well it’s okay because I will help you out ^_^.

I have found that many students don’t really look for other scholarship opportunities past the ones that their schools tell them about. Well that’s not all you have available to you! You have so many out there that it is amazing to me that more students aren’t traveling.

Here is a list of Scholarship sites:

Benjamin A. Gilman
Fund for Edu abroad
Boren Scholarship
Diversity Abroad

Study abroad loans–> Some people may want to choose this route so here it is…

Loans for Study Abroad

Remember it doesn’t matter about the monetary value, just apply! Even if you think that you won’t win, still APPLY! Create for yourself a great essay and just tweak it for each application. This will save you a ton of time. Also be sure to send yourself a copy of each essay in an email and put it on a flash drive too. You never know what may happen to your computer.

I hope this helps! Good Luck!